BY BRIGHT NIWAHA AND ELIZABETH AMONGIN
Clergy women in the Church of Uganda came together at Uganda Christian University, to celebrate 50 years of ministry.
This was during a four-day conference held from May 2 – 6 in Nkoyoyo Hall under the theme: “Reflecting on Jesus Christ’s mandate for women in mission and ministry”, derived from Matthew 28:1-10.
The chief guest, Archbishop Stanley Ntagali, at the opening of the conference hailed the clergywomen for their dedicated service to the Church regardless of the challenges that they meet in life and ministry.
“These challenges are meant to awaken you to draw closer to God. Church history shows that women were the first evangelists. Today the Lord Jesus Christ is commissioning you again to serve. As you celebrate 50 years, don’t misuse the opportunity. The challenges you face today may turn into opportunities tomorrow,” Ntagali said.
During the conference, Shs10m was contributed by the First Lady, Janet Museveni, towards the development of the 50 years’ project in Ngogwe, Mukono District, where 10 acres of land were donated by the Church of Uganda board of trustees to the clergywomen to help them run projects after retirement. The land will also house a centre for retreats as well as a home
for retired clergywomen. The conference was wrapped up with a thanksgiving service at Sts Philip and Andrew’s Cathedral Mukono at which the Bishop of Mukono Diocese, Rt Rev James William Ssebagala, was the main celebrant. Ssebagala said recalling history is crucial in the life of the Church as Christians learn from those who came before them, the apostles and our forefathers. Reflecting on the history of the donated land in Ngogwe, he said it will not only be a home for retirement but also an opportunity to revive
the ministry of the late Baskerville who established Christianity in the area.
He urged female clergy to desist from the attitude of negativity among the clergy that has hindered
the development of the Church’s various ministries, especially when it comes to the season of transfer and transition of Church leaders.
“As the archbishop earlier said, challenges are opportunities. If your attitude towards ministry if negative, you will never see the opportunity. Look up to God who placed you in that ministry, for the answer to every challenge that comes your way,” Ssebagala said.
To-date the Church of Uganda has over 350 clergywomen in various positions, including canons and archdeacons.